Deep AR Law Enforcement Ecosystem

Dissemination & Communication

Behind the scenes – Interview with Valencia Local Police

Challenges and Outcomes of DARLENE for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Dissemination Manager from eBOS Technologies, Ms Elena Tsangaridi, made an online interview with one of the six LEAs that participate in the project’s consortium, the Valencia Local Police, asking them about their experiences and expectations from the DARLENE project and its planned user cases.

1. What are the challenges for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in dealing with crime and how will the DARLENE solution tackle these challenges?

From a general point of view, the purpose of police forces is based on the participation in the resolution of conflicts within the scope of their competencies. In the specific case of a criminal event, the objectives are to locate and secure the offender, as well as evidence and proof, to protect victims, injured parties and other civilians at the scene and in the vicinity of the event, and to ensure the safety of the police officers involved.

Reaction time in dealing with a criminal event is key to a successful response. In a police response to a threat, decision-making cycles (OODA) are psychological processes that take a critical amount of time and depend on a multitude of factors, from the police officer’s own psychological preparation, the means at his disposal and his own experience in the field.

When we talk about the means available to an officer when acting, the information he receives about a criminal action is of paramount importance. Any assistance he receives that clearly provides him with a number of elements of the situation will result in a successful mitigation of the threat he faces. The information that is processed is therefore a key element in this.

DARLENE will provide a huge amount of information to the police on all the elements that come into play during a threat: information on who is who without relying on facial recognition technology, weapons, key elements on the road, injured people, information on the area in which they are acting, viewing of images from areas of indirect vision, thanks to CCTV circuits or even drones, are some examples of information that will be processed through the technological solution of the project. The help in decision-making, planning of rapid strategies and, in short, conflict resolution, will be more than evident.
Thus, the DARLENE project, in its different solutions, complements and helps in the decision-making process of the intervening police officers, minimizing risks for both civilians and the intervening police officers themselves, as well as maximizing the guarantees of success when it comes to discriminating, locating and securing-neutralizing the threat/criminal while making sure that all ethical and legal requirements from such technological solutions are met.
Summarizing, the DARLENE project faces the challenge of supporting LEAs in the objective of locating and securing criminals by reducing personal and material risks, as well as being able to anticipate events in a preventive manner.

2. What kind of outcomes are the LEAs expecting from the DARLENE project?

In general terms, LEAs expect the development of a technology that will be able to provide police officers with reliable, useful and agile information on all the elements that come into play in a risk situation, through an ergonomic and practical wearable, in order to mitigate it by using the less time possible and the best strategy, all together.

Getting into detail, in the case of the first pilot scenario (Larnaca International Airport) what a police force expects is that it meets the objective of recognizing and discriminating with a minimum margin of error, without delays and under the premise of having an immediate response of:
– Crisis situations, terrorist acts, which would include wounded civilians; criminals/terrorists, anticipating before any harmful result is produced or, if the action has already begun, neutralizing it as soon as possible to prevent further damage; locating explosive devices in order to neutralize them before its activation or being able to secure the zone to avoid negative consequences and, if they occur, to minimize them as much as possible.
In short, we expect to see an improvement of the police interventions during attacks to critical infrastructures, such as an airport, thanks to the DARLENE solution.

In the case of the second pilot scenario (Markopoulos Training Facilities) in which a criminal event will occur with civilian presence, is expected that DARLENE will be tested in:

  • Facing situations which involve armed perpetrators
  • Complementing and supporting the tactical deployment of the police officers for the sake of localizing and neutralizing terrorists by discriminating against civilians to avoid injury or casualties to innocents and to facilitate a faster and more correct response by the intervening police. To increase the likelihood of success in neutralizing threats, while minimizing the risk of civilian and police casualties.
  • Testing the IFF or “Identification of Friend or Foe” solution, one of the most surprising functionalities of DARLENE thanks to which we will be able to face incidents behind cover, having processed information of the area in real-time. The graphic information provided through the glasses (shaped weapons, “skeletons” identifying the hostage and the perpetrator, etc.) will help to ensure a successful mitigation of the event.
3. Is there a current use of AR tools in LEAs? If not, what is their expected role in the future?

As of today, both in the Valencia Local Police and in the rest of the Law Enforcement Agencies of the country, we are not aware of augmented reality technology being implemented. However, in addition to the participation of this police force in this project, in 2014, through the Police 3.0 program, the National Police Force studied the possibility of introducing the Google Glasses format, a project that was not finally implemented. We are not aware of augmented reality tools similar to DARLENE, some countries, mainly outside of Europe, are developing AR tools for law enforcement purposes, but those, unlike DARLENE, are relying on facial recognition technology. DARLENE therefore is uniquely well-placed to provide European LEAs with a sustainable AR solution which respect European values, legal and ethics principles and has strong potential for societal acceptance.


4. What is your role (PLV) in the DARLENE solution?

Valencia Local Police, PLV, as an end user and part of the consortium that constitutes the project, has an important role to play among the LEAs themselves, as it leads the work package corresponding to the coordination of the training of the police officers who will test the technological solution and who will carry out the pilot tests designed to test DARLENE. In addition, it leads the first task of the above-mentioned work package (Task 6.1: Training, planning and demonstration) and two of the deliverable reports to be published during the life of the project (D6.3 and D6.4 -Training evaluation report 1st and 2nd version-).
The work of the LEAs is and will be continuous throughout the life of the project, since we are not only talking about receiving information from the experience of the use of the technology (by 5 different LEAs), but the construction of all the solutions that are to be integrated in the DARLENE device and platform must follow the premises of direct application in their daily work of the police forces that make up the consortium.
The feedback received will show how useful the developed technology can be, as well as influence the viability of the use of the technology itself in the different police forces involved.